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Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2002 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

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Musings | The U. S. Supreme Court opened its session this year by chickening out.

The high court let stand New Jersey's bizarre decision to let former Senator Frank Launtenberg replace disgraced incumbent Senator Robert Torricelli on the Democratic line for US Senate --- even though state law and legislative history clearly prohibit such a thing.

The supremes know the New Jersey court practiced political hackery and corrupted a federal election - but the high court decided to hide from political controversy. The case of Bush v. Gore - you remember that - established the principle that legislatures, not state supreme courts, write election law.

If that precedent doesn't hold in New Jersey, then Al Gore ought to be president.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be immune from political pressure, but a majority of the nine robed ones chose to maintain social standing in Washington rather than defend the constitution.

Ironically, that non-decision eventually will become even more unpopular than Bush v. Gore because it has created a mess that will take years to clean.

I never cease to be amazed by the tiresome, unimaginative and predictable nature of professional race-baiting.

The most recent example - this week's African and African Descendants' World Conference Against Racism.

After checking into hotel rooms in Barbados and arranging expense-account meals, delegates got together and passed a most unusual resolution. They agreed to ban from the non-racism conference anybody who wasn't black.

Garadina Gamba, speaking for the British delegation, told reporters, "This is an African family occasion and therefore they should not be allowed to sit down and talk with us."

After the deliciously hypocritical motion passed, a few participants pleaded for a reconsideration of the matter -- but to no avail. This doesn't mean delegates wish to isolate themselves entirely from the rest of the world. To the contrary, they hurriedly committed an act of vigorous internationalism.

They extended their hands to majority-white nations -- and demanded billions of dollars in reparations for slavery.

Sometimes boys will be boys.

Consider this tale -- which I promise, I have not made up -- from the most tense and momentous labor negotiations now talking place in the United States -- talks to end a labor stoppage at the nation's west-coast ports.

Union members boycotted one meeting, after management representatives showed up with bodyguards -- as if they feared getting pounded by labor types.

Unions settled the score the next day, when a management team showed up for a meeting at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union headquarters in San Francisco.

The discussions went nowhere, in part because the conversations were interrupted repeatedly by the unmistakeable sound of someone passing gas -- emphatically, but unaccompanied by the nose-curling aroma of hydrogen sulfide.

The culprit turned out to be a small box, concealed beneath the table, which produced the sonic booms. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that management boss Joe Miniace broke the tension by saying he was "glad to see them finally moving into the technology area..."

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